Francis was originally named Giovanni Francesco Bernardone. He was born in 1182 within a small Italian town refered to as Assisi. As a child St. Francis did not receive a formal education, even though his father was a wealthy merchant. When becoming a young man, St Francis lived a wild and care free life, until a war broke out between Assisi and Perugia. As a result of the war St. Francis was held prisoner in Perugia for over a year. Over this harsh period of time he became very ill and decided to change his sinful way of life, due to this life-threatening event.
When St. Francis returned to Assisi in 1205 he began to perform charities among lepers and the poor. Because St. Francis" changes of character was so disappointing to his father, he was soon disowned him. After being disowned St. Francis decided to sell his rich clothing and work with lepers in the woods for the next three years. .
It was said that during a mass in 1208 St. Francis heard a voice that told him to "Go out into the world and possess nothing, but do good everywhere". On his way back returning to Assisi, St. Francis began preaching. While preaching he gathered 12 disciples around him, who later formed the first members of the Franciscan Order of Monks.
In 1212 St. Francis went out on a journey to the Holy Land, but because of a shipwreck he was forced to withdraw the journey and return home before he reached his attempted journey. In 1219 in Egypt, St. Francis was able to preach to the Sultan of Egypt. Yet his efforts failed to convert the sultan to Christianity. From here St. Francis then went on to the holy land and preached until 1220. Upon St. Francis return to Assisi he discovered that many of his fellow Franciscans had either been killed or had left the brotherhood. Soon after Francis, too, decide to leave the Franciscans.
One of St. Francis greatest achievements occurred on September of 1224. This happened after 40 days of fasting, and praying on Monte Alvero.